nVidia 8800 in a Mac Pro?

Posted by: zib_redlektab

nVidia 8800 in a Mac Pro? - 06/12/07 08:02 PM

Two questions actually.
1. If I were to buy a Mac Pro with the default graphics card, could I replace it with an nVidia 8800, and actually have it work and all?

2. I see there are options for having multiple graphics cards, do these use SLI to work together? Meaning could I theoretically get 2 8800's and run them wilh SLI?
Posted by: Waragainstsleep

Re: nVidia 8800 in a Mac Pro? - 06/13/07 06:13 AM

I know the Mac Pro doesn't support SLI. I suspect you would have to flash the 8800 before it would work too.
Posted by: maestro

Re: nVidia 8800 in a Mac Pro? - 06/13/07 07:13 AM

In order to flash the card, you need a Mac version of the card to dump the flash from.  Right now, its a no go, but the 1900xt is a great card.  Im guessing the next revision of the MP will has the 8800 gts.
Posted by: zib_redlektab

Re: nVidia 8800 in a Mac Pro? - 06/13/07 05:32 PM

yeah it's just that i want to be able to use directx 10 in boot camp, and i can't do that with any of the current card options. I'll probably just wait for them to get dx10 cards then get one. smile thanks!
Posted by: shadowboxer47

Re: nVidia 8800 in a Mac Pro? - 06/14/07 11:02 PM

Originally Posted By: "maestro "

In order to flash the card, you need a Mac version of the card to dump the flash from.  Right now, its a no go, but the 1900xt is a great card.  Im guessing the next revision of the MP will has the 8800 gts.


The 1900XT is an awesome card... but, I'm going to have to disagree with Maestro here. I do not believe a card like the 8800 GTS/Ultra will EVER be on the Mac Pro. The 88xx series was designed SPECIFICALLY for games. Cards like the 1900 (or the 8600 even), while having gaming in mind, are also viable for graphic design and other pro-sumer work; exactly what the Mac Pro is pitched for. I doubt Steve Jobs and et. al. even considered gaming in their planning.  Just my theory--but it would explian why older, but viable gaming cards such as the Radeon 7950 are still not available (to the best of my knowledge.)

As for DX10 cards, your wait may be over a year. First, most games currently in early development are lacking native DX10 support. OEMs and developers are not ready to justify the cost for such a niche group of Vista gamers. Even the 8800, while supporting DX10, does not see much of an improvement over DX9. Second, the install base for XP is much much larger than Vista--and will be for some time to come. Vista adoption is much slower than XP's and even gamers are hesitant to upgrade because of incompatibility with earlier, popular titles. Not to mention the OS slows virtually all current hardware vs. XP.

This is all just opinion, but as somebody in Dell Management (blasphemy!) I can tell you those are the trends we're seeing. Nobody wanted Vista, especially gamers. This is why the company (Dell) re-released the XP install option.
Posted by: zib_redlektab

Re: nVidia 8800 in a Mac Pro? - 06/15/07 12:33 PM

i understand that to use dx10 i'd actually have to use vista, which sucks, but i'd just like to be prepared for the future smile

i don't need it to be the 8800, but at least the 8600. Really, i just want a new card.
Posted by: neolycan

Re: nVidia 8800 in a Mac Pro? - 06/30/07 02:49 PM

Just a note of interest, from what I've recently read there has been a game that supposedly that could only run using Vista and with direct X 10, that has been cracked to run under Windows XP and direct X 9.0... So therefore one may just have to wait for people to crack the games to run under the older version and OS.  This probably will happen quite a bit much to MS' sadness because they are using this only for Vista deal to push sales of Vista when most PC gamers are against doing so.  and as far as the 8800 coming to a Mac Pro, I be.live it is quite likely because many of the big game developers are looking towards developing for Mac.  E.A. and ID for example, these and other companies will also take note that also people will be able to run Windows games on their Mac's via Boot Camp, and also there are coming soon solutions to run Windows XP/Vista along side OS X Leopard that are coming from what I've heard.  Is looking forward to the day when a Mac will run Windows based apps without running windows however, like running it through a Rosetta type program or something... 
Posted by: 987687

Re: nVidia 8800 in a Mac Pro? - 06/30/07 08:08 PM

I don't see why you couldn't run windows apps on mac with Wine from Linux.
Posted by: maestro

Re: nVidia 8800 in a Mac Pro? - 07/01/07 08:55 AM

8800 cards will not work and will continue down that road until apple releases a version of their own.  Remember apple writes their own drivers for their cards!
Posted by: 987687

Re: nVidia 8800 in a Mac Pro? - 07/01/07 09:14 AM

if you put an 8800 in a mac and ran windows or linux on it would the graphics work? Or does the ROM apple makes for the card make it compatible with the computer as well as the software?
Posted by: burtman

Re: nVidia 8800 in a Mac Pro? - 07/01/07 09:32 AM

PC Cards will work to a certain extent in a MacPro - ie under windows once it's booted accorind to this article:
http://www.anandtech.com/mac/showdoc.aspx?i=2832&p=7

As the MacPro has configurable PCI-E lanes you could configure the lanes to run at different speeds, theoretically you could put your big fast graphics card in the 16x slot for use in XP/vista-DX10 and put the mac compatible in one of the other slots at a lower speed - this would cripple it slightly for use in OS-X but it is doable.
See this article:
http://www.barefeats.com/quad14.html
and this infodoc:
http://docs.info.apple.com/article.html?artnum=304122

you would still have to swap the monitor between cards on the reboot.

It is most likely doable - not sure if its worth the effort  though.

http://www.barefeats.com/quad14.html
Posted by: 987687

Re: nVidia 8800 in a Mac Pro? - 07/01/07 11:07 AM

I'm surprised there is no way to use the Linux drivers for the 8800 on mac. But then mac is based on BSD and BSD is kinda useless.... It might be a possibility with a lot of hacking though
Posted by: maestro

Re: nVidia 8800 in a Mac Pro? - 07/01/07 02:13 PM

A 1900xt is a really fast card.  I have several and would see no reason to upgrade unless you wanted to play dx10 games on your Mac.  That wont happen though as MPros are not used for gaming anyway.  If you want games, get a PC or a console.  Yeah, Steve said games were coming back to Mac, but I still dont see it ever becoming a gaming machine....and with that there are no hi end gaming cards.
Posted by: waamatt

Re: nVidia 8800 in a Mac Pro? - 07/06/07 08:34 AM

Originally Posted By: "shadowboxer47 "

The 1900XT is an awesome card... but, I'm going to have to disagree with Maestro here. I do not believe a card like the 8800 GTS/Ultra will EVER be on the Mac Pro. The 88xx series was designed SPECIFICALLY for games.


Skipping ahead... I think this is a good point, and more evidence that there needs to be some sort of mini-tower to fill the headless computer gap between the Mini and the Pro. The Pro was never intended as a gaming machine, and really, the high-latency RAM it uses doesn't help with gaming anyway. Giving the Pro a bevy of GPU options that are best for gaming doesn't do a whole lot of good, and those options probably would not sell as well as, say, cards better suited for multiple purposes, or workstation GPUs.

Now if they had something smaller in size than the Pro, with a full-sized 16x PCIe slot, 4 RAM slots, a couple HDD bays, an optical drive, and a couple more slower PCIe slots... I'd buy one in a heartbeat. Granted, it wouldn't be Xeon-equipped. More like high-end Core 2 Duo's. Ah, but one can dream.

The Strangedogs people, if anyone didn't know, have moved. The old forum is shut down and they're now at The Mac Elite.

Maestro is 100% correct, by the way: Without existing Mac ROM data to go off of, you can't just magically make a ROM to flash into a PC card. You could, most likely, run an 8800 in a Mac Pro via Boot Camp, but under OS X, you'd get nothing.
Posted by: maestro

Re: nVidia 8800 in a Mac Pro? - 07/19/07 08:34 AM

Just an update here.  With the new intel cpus coming next week, we should see a new revision of the Pro in the next month or so.  With that in mind, Apple may be working on getting some of the 8 series Nvidias working with it.  We may see the Gtx, but most likely the Gts and definitely not the Ultra.  Still dont see dual graphics coming just yet, even with Apple getting back into the games market.